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Fred Searle

BY FRED SEARLE

AHDB Horticulture on hunt for new panel experts

Levy board opens recruitment for “progressive and innovative” representatives on its various crop sector panels

AHDB Horticulture on hunt for new panel experts

Current panel member Mark Eves of PS & JE Ward Ltd

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AHDB Horticulture is looking for "progressive and innovative" new voices on its expert panels as the industry faces up to Brexit, labour and crop protection challenges.

Interested growers can apply for 25 vacancies on all six crop sector panels: soft fruit, tree fruit, field vegetables, protected ornamentals and bulbs and outdoor flowers, hardy nursery stock, and protected edibles. 

The three-year tenure will start from January 2020. 

Bill Parker, research director at AHDB, said: “We are looking for progressive and innovative growers who are experts in their field to help us shape the work we do at AHDB. 

“Their time on the panel will be against a backdrop of Brexit, labour shortages, rising automation and robotics and reduced crop protection armoury. 

“We need strategic thinkers who are passionate about their sector to help drive the industry forward and direct their levy investment in the right projects in line with the broader AHDB Horticulture priorities.” 

While on the panel, growers help shape calls for research projects, ensuring they offer value for money.

They also act as an industry representative to ensure project research teams keep the needs of the industry in mind, as well as playing an important role in determining the strategy for future work being commissioned in their sector.

Current panel member Mark Eves, who is director of PS & JE Ward Ltd, said: “People need to get involved with the panels. It’s their money and they need to steer where that money is being used. 

“I’ve been on the panels for a number of years and it’s amazing what you can learn, not only from the work being done, but meeting with like-minded growers. It’s us growers who bring the ideas back down to earth and make it work for the industry.” 

To join the panel the candidate must be employed by a current horticultural levy payer. The deadline for applications is midnight on 31 October 2019. For full details about the current vacancies and to apply, visit ahdb.org.uk/horticulture-panels.

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